Red Light, Green Light

Solomon’s life and reign are recorded as possibly one of the most prosperous in the Bible. Solomon’s success is attributed to his dependence upon the Lord to guide his steps.  Solomon depended on God to tell him what to do and when to do it. Solomon’s journey shows us that God is trustworthy, and, if we are patient and faithful to obey His commands, His promises will not return void.

In 1 Kings 8:17-19, Solomon recounted the fact that his father David had come up with the idea to build God’s temple, a permanent structure where God could dwell.  But God told David “no.”   Did God say “no” because it was wrong for David to want to do this? Not at all.  Verse 18 says that God commended David for what he wanted to do:

My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood—he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.’

God commended David because his motives were in the right place, but just because someone has the good motives for doing something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.   For example, in Texas we have the “right on red” law. This means that a driver can make a right turn despite a red traffic light. However, just because the law says it’s ok, and the reason you want to do it is to help out the drivers behind you who might be in a hurry, does that make it a good idea to go ahead and turn without checking for oncoming traffic first?  No.  You could have a wreck.  First, we have to check to see if there are cars, people, or any number of hazards before we pull out.  In the same way, first we need to check with our Heavenly Father, who knows all things and sees all things, to learn whether what we’re wanting to do is a good idea or not.

Solomon showed us that we should trust God and follow His directions in order to have peace in our lives.  That instruction seems simple enough, but I found myself asking the question, “How do I know that I’m hearing Him correctly?”  Well, how do you hear anyone? You listen to their words. The Bible is God’s Word.  Read your Bible.  Study your Bible.  Listen to God’s Words.  God’s voice gets louder and louder the more we spend time with Him learning about His character and His attributes, just as when you start to spend more time with people, the easier it becomes to understand them.

God will have specific instructions for you and your journey, and He will communicate that to you however He sees fit.

I also have found myself wondering, and still do sometimes, “Is this my own ambition, or is this from the Lord?”  Understand this: He will ALWAYS back up what He says to you personally with Scripture — His written, permanent Word. And His Word never changes.  Ever.  If what you’re hearing does not line up with His permanent Word, that’s not God speaking to you.

The grass withers, the flowers fall, but the Word of our God endures forever.  Isaiah 40:8 NIV

About the Writer:
Natalie is a stay at home mom to two young boys. Additionally, she occasionally works as an emergency room nurse and is studying to become a Nurse Practitioner. She and her husband have been called into the medical mission field and are excited to see what the Lord has in store for their lives.

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